Accidental diphtheria infections in laboratories are infrequent. Mallory1 reported an infection contracted by a student who cut his finger while removing the organs of the neck at an autopsy. Baldwin, McCallum and Doull2 reported a case in which a physician had pricked his finger with a contaminated needle while carrying out a virulence test. Hammerschmidt3 reported a similar infection. Riesman4 reported an infection contracted by a bacteriologist who aspirated virulent organisms while transplanting cultures. In the cases reported, symptoms appeared within from twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The following case would appear to be one of accidental infection as the patient, a woman, aged 54, had been transferring virulent diphtheria cultures forty-eight hours before the onset of illness, and no other source of infection was known.
REPORT OF CASE
The first symptom, a mild sore throat, was noticed late in the afternoon; the following morning the
Taylor RE. A CASE OF DIPHTHERIA PROBABLY ACQUIRED BY LABORATORY INOCULATION. JAMA. 1927;88(25):1967. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.92680510024009a
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